Assemblyman Kenneth D. Blankenbush, R-Black River, has been selected to co-chair the Assembly Minority Task Force on Learning for Work, which aims to address the middle skills gap.
The gap refers to a lack of qualified candidates for middle skills jobs, or positions that require more education than a high school diploma, but not a four-year college degree, such as electricians, mechanics and dental hygienists. Assemblymen introduced the Learning for Work Act bill to address the gap by creating an apprenticeship program in public schools. The program would provide hands-on workplace education that will teach students crucial skills for work in the trades or other fields with middle skills jobs.
The Assembly Minority Task Force on Learning for Work, which Mr. Blankenbush co-chairs, was created to collect feedback from educational, trade and industrial leaders about the possible economic and educational effects of the program, as well as its strengths and weaknesses. It will hold a forum for the north country on Oct. 23, although a time and place has not yet been provided.
“We believe that by combining coursework with hands-on learning, we can prepare today’s students for a lifetime of success,” Mr. Blankenbush said.